In this week’s lecture, we discussed the concept of “public” and “counterpublics”. According to Warner, the ‘public’ are self organized, representing a relation between strangers. It is characterized by a mode of speech that is both personal and impersonal, and it is shaped by the temporality of its circulation. Looking at public, one can distinguish between ‘a’ and ‘the’ public.
Counterpublics is about developing alternative norms for public argument. Furthermore, it is about engaging in political discussions, and they allow individuals to enact identities through new styles of communication. These styles can both be weak (conversations) or strong (action-based). Lastly, counterpublics seeks to formulate oppositional interpretations (identities, interests, needs) by creating a new language.
This lecture got me thinking about my own vision of public, and what some of my counterpublics are and how they got developed. Some of the publics that I find myself in is Vancouver city, at Simon Fraser University and my workspace. Looking at counterpublics, I an example would be the group of exchange students I hang out with. This group is developed on the basis that we are all studying in Copenhagen at home and now we are at SFU together.